What the ‘L’?
Speculative chatter around Google’s latest mobile operating system name has a lot in common with a patisserie menu. ‘Lemon meringue’ and ‘Liquorice’ have been the rumoured contenders in the past few months – but this week the Chocolate Factory revealed that version 5.0 in its long line of sugary-monikered releases would be ‘Lollipop’.
Devs had their first glimpse of Lollipop at the Google I/O Developer Conference in June. Going undercover as Android L, the system was revealed to be the biggest change to Android since Ice Cream Sandwich in 2011.
The headline news around Lollipop is that ART (Android runtime) is that is officially shunting out Dalvik. This shouldn’t be a huge issue for most apps, but it’s worth looking into. You can make sure here.
There’s better enterprise provisioning with this release, and notifications are significantly improved, coming packed with sophisticated lock screen capabilities and alert displays. Google have also swirled in support for 64-bit systems and other preview NDK APIs and additional energy user controls, allowing users to better manage their resources. There’s also the Material Design feature, which incorporates a redesigned user interface.
Whilst Material Design and new camera features were getting quite a bit of love from early downloaders, developers were stopped in their tracks by one extra add-on baked into the system. Yep, just when you thought you’d beaten your Flappy Bird addiction, Google smacks you in the face with a Lollipop themed Easter Egg, and all productivity comes crashing to a halt – like a sad Android smashing its tiny robot head against a lolly stick. Oh Google, is there no end to your evil?
Whilst developer previews are out now, you’ll actually see Lollipop running on all the latest releases from Google from early November, as well as on older devices like the Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Moto X, Droid Mini, and Droid Maxx.
Elsewhere, HTC has announced that it will begin rolling out Lollipop to the HTC One M8 and HTC One M7 worldwide within 90 days of receiving final software from Google, with updates to other One family members and other devices shortly after. Respectively, Motorola will be throwing some hard candy to Moto X and Moto G, Moto G with 4G LTE, Moto E, Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx and Droid Mini. At the time of writing, Samsung, LG, and Sony were staying quiet on their plans.
Image by Birdies100
Image by Birdies100